Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Located in eastern Sacramento County, Nimbus Hatchery raises Chinook salmon and steelhead for release to the American River. The Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center offers free fun and educational activities for children and adults of all ages. Enjoy the on-site nature trail along the American River to view wildlife, as well as the American River Parkway trail directly adjacent to the Nimbus Hatchery.

The salmon run occurs in fall, with hatchery operations taking place from the beginning of November through mid-December. The steelhead trout run occurs in winter, with hatchery operations taking place from January through February. 


Cost: Free

Location: 2001 Nimbus Road, Suite F, Gold River, CA 95670


  • Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • The raceways (little fish ponds) close approximately 2:00 p.m. daily
  • The hatchery parking lot located at 2001 Nimbus Rd is open 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. daily.
  • Hours are subject to change based on staff availability or inclement weather. Please check our Facebook Page(opens in new tab) for the most current updates.

Contact: (916) 358-2884, Molly Shea

Directions: Off Highway 50, 18 miles east of Sacramento. Travel north on Hazel Ave. 0.7 mile, make a left hand turn at Gold Country Blvd. Travel 200 yards to the parking lot entrance on the right. MAP(opens in new tab)

See bottom of page for information about the visitor center's guided tour program.

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2023-2024 Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor Center Guided Tours

At a Glance

  • FREE, including parking
  • For K-12 school groups and community-based organizations (scout groups, professional and non-profit organizations, nursing care centers, etc.)
  • 1.5 hour in-person guided tours for grades K-12 and community groups with more than 15 participants
  • NGSS-aligned for K-12 groups
  • Content areas: salmon life cycle, water systems, human impact on the environment, river habitats

What to Expect for the Fall Season

Our tour request lottery for peak season (November through mid-December 2023) is now CLOSED. If you complete a peak season tour request form, please expect to hear from us by September 29th about the lottery results.

You can still schedule tours for the following:

  • Outside peak season (prior to November or after December 2023)
  • Non-school (K-12) groups

If one or both of these categories apply to you, you can request a tour using the Tour Request Form, at the link below.

Tour Request Form(opens in new tab)

For questions, or to schedule a virtual tour of the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, please call (916) 358-2884, or email Do not call Nimbus Fish Hatchery directly.

Educational Resources

Hatchery-related Learning

Other CDFW Programs



School Tour


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Fisheries Branch
1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento, CA 95605 |